The sport we know now as Formula One traces its roots to 1906 when the French held the first Grand Prix. Who could have guessed that from these humble beginnings it would become the pinnacle of motorsports! Formula One has grown to be one of the most popular sports in the world attracting the best drivers, designers, and engineers, drawing millions of fans, securing huge sponsorships, and producing Olympic like champions. The sport pushes technology to the limit with powerful cars and delivers thrill and excitement. It’s also the most intense, most difficult, most political, and most international racing championship in the world.
While we are wild about the start of a new Formula One season, we still have a soft spot for the Formula One cars of the past. Here are three of our favorite F1 cars of all time that belong on the top step:
PURPOSEFUL, POWERFUL, AND COMPACT
Technical director Carlo Chiti dreamed up the Ferrari Dino 156 Sharknose as a solution to the change of rules for the 1961 racing season. The simple and clever design featured the engine behind the car, a V6 engine with a 120 degrees cylinder angle, a tubular chassis, a lower center of gravity, a much lighter engine than the competition, and the distinctive two-fold air inlet on the nose. The car was an immediate success and was driven to a World Championship by Phil Hill.
Very few of these iconic cars were built, and none of them survived. You can, however, pick up a limited edition 1:18 scale model in our shop that has been reproduced based on meticulous research. The model wows with its beautifully rich Rosso Corsa paint and stunning detail. The racer is crafted from 1,450 single parts and sits low and square with a solid stance. With the small screwdriver that comes with the model, you can loosen the two micro screws on the chassis and lift away the front bonnet to reveal an intricate arrangement of cooling, fuel, and oil delivery systems. The hand laced spoke Borrani wheels are removable, the interior is padded in leather, and the dashboard gauges are readable. Check it out here.
In 1954-1955, the Lancia D50 was the only machine capable of holding a torch to the Mercedes Benz W196. Designer Vittorio Jano spared no expense in perfecting this ambitious racing machine. It was an exceptionally compact racer with a very low center of gravity, a new V8 engine, excellent weight distribution, superior handling, and featured the visually striking twin pannier fuel tanks on each side of the car. The car was capable of reaching a mindblowing 300 km/hr. In the hands of capable Alberto Ascari, Lancia had all the credentials needed to win, but the glorious start came to an abrupt end. While financial woes and the untimely death of Lancia’s star driver forced Lancia to pull the plug on the project and hand it to Ferrari, we cannot forget what Lancia achieved and what more they could have achieved had luck been on their side.
CMC Model Cars crafted this stunning replica from 1,590 individual parts including leather and stainless steel. As you would expect from CMC, a feast of details awaits: a little windscreen that adjusts back and forth, fine shark like grills on the engine cover, a wood grain simulated steering wheel, and removable branded and treaded tires are just a start. Lift off the engine cover and be welcomed by the sight of the 2.5-liter V8 engine, copper piping and wiring, and the four banks of carburetors. The nose cone is removable as well as the entire rear section, allowing an excellent view of the independent front wishbone suspension, the supplementary fuel tank, transverse leaf springs, and the five-speed gearbox. Last but not least, the D50 is equipped with a booster trolley containing a battery—a nice detail for a diorama setup.
AN ICONIC SILHOUETTE
The Maserati 250F is the quintessential, perfect postwar racing machine with its blunt snout, low stance, long bonnet, shapely tail, and bright red paint. For virtuosos such as Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss, the 250F was an instrument on which they could display their craft. And undoubtedly, the fact that they even raced it gives the machine unbeatable provenance. The Maserati 250 F raced four seasons, achieved 9 championship victories, and the charisma of this vehicle lives on.
This limited edition model by CMC Model Cars is another superb example of just how marvelous a 1:18 scale diecast car can be. The shape and execution are beautiful and with 1,387 separate components, there is plenty of detail to take in. The front and rear suspensions are realistic with springs cabling and exhaust, the cockpit features a leather upholstered seat, a fully equipped dashboard, gearbox, and pedals, and the rear features 301 hand inserted rivets. Want more detail? You can unlock the engine hood via the 4 functional hooks and revel in the perfectly scaled, exceptionally detailed 6 cylinder inline engine. See more photos here.
What’s your favorite Formula One car of all time?